Paul Knight and Phil Hutchinson-May are launching Foodservice Central, a job board for the foodservice, wholesale, and manufacturing sector, which looks to support the high number of industry professionals currently out of a job.
Ex-Bidfood MD Knight is also taking up a position at ENSE UK as group commercial director on the same day as Foodservice Central launches, Tuesday 1 September. He will be dividing his time between the two roles.
Hutchinson-May is recruitment director at FMCG Central, a sales and marketing consultancy. Between both Foodservice Central founders is over 50 years of knowledge of the foodservice industry as well as many experiences with recruiting talent to join their teams over this time.
The two men identified a gap in the market for supporting this sector and have made it their goal to change how foodservice recruits, with targeted job listings, as well as relevant tools to help talent upskill for their futures. Foodservice Central’s mission is to support, develop and match people with a passion for foodservice with employers.
Speaking about the joint venture, Knight said: “The foodservice recruitment marketplace is highly fragmented. There is no one place to find vacancies within the sector. Distributors and manufacturers want to easily access the best talent to drive their performance. Equally candidates are looking for roles and want a central website where they can access any current vacancies within the foodservice sector all in one place.”
The aftermath of Covid-19 has seen many businesses affected, in particular, the pandemic has severely affected the foodservice sector and those in its supply chain, with sales expected to be down 56%. Analysts including McKinsey state it will not be until 2023 that we return to post-pandemic foodservice sales. That would require a growth of to 18% per annum from here on in, and this growth could mean opportunity and jobs.
In order to support this growth rate, Foodservice Central aims to be the conduit between foodservice specialists looking to advance their career, and foodservice manufacturers and distributors looking to recruit employees with a passion for foodservice.
Hutchinson-May said: “The great thing about Foodservice Central is that we’re niche. The benefit of being niche means our platform will allow clients to save time by attracting more targeted candidates. We know everyone in the industry has a passion for foodservice and a desire to stay within it. Working with clients we will build a vibrant place for high quality foodservice candidates to engage and find the best selection of jobs and career support.”
The pair believe that Foodservice Central can be a community hub for people and businesses where foodservice experience matters, especially during a time where community is fundamentally important.
Knight added: “We aim to add support by connecting these individuals with experts for careers advice and encouraging engagement, sharing ideas and networking with like-minded people.”
The job board will also act a central location for trainers and charities to list their development courses and training to help prepare candidates for their next position before using the online job board to find a suitable role.